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Film / House of Dracula

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House of Dracula is a Universal Horror film from the year 1945.

After the events of House of Frankenstein, the yet again revived Wolf Man Larry Talbot is still seeking release from his condition. He ends up in Dr. Edelmann's place for treatment and accidentally finds Frankenstein's Monster in the caves under the house. Count Dracula is also there to find a cure for vampirism, but it is only a ruse to get near the nurse Morelle, upon whom he has set his sights.

This film is also notable for having a female hunchback assistant, though she is treated as a sympathetic and kind character (and is quite pretty to boot).

The film was the last serious Monster Mash film for Universal. Next up, the comedy duo Abbott and Costello would stumble upon the horrors of the studio.

Witness the tropes which pile the horror upon horror!

  • Big Damn Heroes: Larry shows up just in time to save the day.
  • Bungled Suicide: Upon hearing that the supposed procedure to cure him takes some time, Larry decides that one more transformation to a werewolf is too much, and attempts to kill himself by leaping off a cliff. He survives and ends up in cave where the Monster is.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The bog in which the Monster drowned in House of Frankenstein conveniently leads to the underground caves under Dr. Edelmann's place.
  • The Corruption: Courtesy of the blood of Dracula, Doctor Edelman is changed from a noble, devout, and compassionate scientist into a mad killer.
  • Covers Always Lie: The poster on the page image seems to imply "the Hunchback" is one of the monsters in the film. She's not, not even close- just a lab assistant and supporting character.
  • Doing In the Wizard:
    • According to Dr. Endelmann, Talbot's lycanthropy is a case of self-hypnosis combined with his skulls applying pressure to his brain. After easing the said pressure with experimental surgery Talbot is cured! At least until the next movie.
    • He also thinks he's discovered a scientific basis for the nature of vampirism. Sadly, his attempt at a cure doesn't end well for him.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Dr. Edelmann's cat hisses at Dracula, and later at the doctor himself after he is corrupted by Dracula's blood.
  • Expy: After Dracula gives Dr. Edelmann his blood, he becomes one of Jekyll & Hyde.
  • For Science!: Averted initially. After finding the Monster, Dr. Edelmann attempts to power up the Monster. Nina talks him out of it, reminding him that the Monster is too dangerous to be revived. But once his evil side takes control, he restores him into full power and strangles Nina who tries to intervene.
  • Hope Spot: Out of five movies, this is the only one that ends well for poor Larry Talbot (yes, by Talbot standards being forced to shoot the man who cured your nightmarish curse to prevent him from suffering the same fate constitutes ending well). He's cured, and he has a love interest. By the sequel though, he's relapsed, and she's nowhere to be found. Probably dead. (Of course, this is assuming the next movie is in continuity with this one).
  • Hospital Hottie: And in truly subversive and original twist, one of them is The Igor! Okay, well, technically, she's Dr. Edelmann's hunchbacked original assistant. But she's still a rather lovely and compassionate woman.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Edelmann's evil side, who revives the Monster just so he can learn the secret to immortality.
  • Missing Reflection: Dracula casts no reflection to a mirror, nor does the evilized Dr. Edelmann.
  • Negative Continuity: Drac and Talbot are alive and well after the previous film killed them off, and Talbot either doesn't remember or doesn't bother mentioning that he's already met the Frankenstein monster twice.
  • The Power of Blood: Dracula's blood can apparently make normal people completely amoral.
  • Recycled Premise: Quite a lot of House of Frankenstein gets reused in this script. Madman with a hunchbacked assistant wants to unravel Frankenstein's work, check note . Talbot hopes mad science is the key to curing or killing himself, check. Frankenstein monster discovered in hibernation under castle, check. Dracula dies before Act Three, check.
  • Rule of Symbolism: When Dr. Edelmann locates Talbot in his cave after surviving his leap off the cliff, the latter is (literally and figuratively) in a dark place. But with some encouragement that he will be cured before the next full moon, Dr. Edelmann helps Talbot leave his cave and step into a (again, literal and figurative) ray of hope.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: Dracula's transformation from a bat to human is depicted by a shadow on a wall.
  • Talking to Themself: Well, it's more a case of "Arguing With Himself In A Nightmare", but after he gets nailed with Dracula's blood, Doctor Edelmann has a dream in which his good and evil selves quarrel over the idea of turning the Frankenstein's Monster loose on the villagers.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Steinmuhl, upon learning that it was Dr. Edelmann who killed his brother Siegfried, manages to bring the villagers into an uproar about it and storm his hospital just as the Monster is restored to full power.
  • Torture Cellar: An old one is under Edelmann's house.
  • Unexplained Recovery: No attempt is made to explain how Dracula and Talbot survived their onscreen deaths in House of Frankenstein. However, earlier movies establish that Talbot revives when his corpse is exposed to moonlight, and a case can be made for his body being found and getting exposed again.
  • The X of Y: The film's title.